Osinbajo communicated this on Thursday at the Calestous Juma Innovation Colloquium organised by the Africa Institute for Leadership and Public Administration at the Arthur Mbanefo Digital Research Centre, University of Lagos(UNILAG).
The theme of the colloquium is “Africa’s New Culture of Innovation.”
Calestous Juma was a Professor of the Practice of International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School, US.
The vice president said that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country would become the 4th most populous nation in the world.
“Over 50 percent of that number will be young persons under the age of 25; today 60 percent of the unemployed in Africa are young people.
“The implications for social upheaval are clear; climate change poses special concerns, especially desertification, the drying up of the Lake Chad and its implications for lives and livelihoods that depend on the lake.
” The challenges of Healthcare delivery and education for a large population have led to the worst human development indices in the world.
” But these challenges have peaked at an auspicious time; a time when technology and innovation have begun to disrupt older and slower ways of achieving results.
” And for Africa a time when its young innovators, digital scientists and creatives have emerged with incredible creativity and resourcefulness.
“There is no question that Africa’s future will be determined by innovation. With innovation and technology Africa will skip or leapfrog over many phases of development that other continents had to go through.”
He said that Nigerian and African innovators had creditably acquitted themselves in areas of telecom, agriculture, healthcare, power, among others.
According to him, Africa is leading the way in a new way of thinking, as innovators figure out how to produce power in situ.
He said that new storage technologies also meant power was going to be portable for Africans.
Osinbajo said that as part of efforts to diversify power sources and improve access, Nigeria started a programme of providing solar power in 20,000 homes in rural villages.
” We started in Wuna a village just outside Abuja. Wuna is an agrarian community. It is not on the national grid, and had no other source of power.
“To charge their phones an entrepreneur with a small generator runs a service.